Writer: Tom Ward
Art: Luke Parker
Letters: Nic J Shaw
Editor: Clare Lenton
Recommended for mature readers
The Book: Set before the events in the brilliant Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman, A Restless Night is loosely based upon a true story taken from Doctor Treves’ journals of his experience travelling through India. It recounts his first encounter with the unexplainable as he fights for his life against a vengeful curse…
The Review: A Restless Night, like Merrick before it, is a project brought to life through the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Writer Tom Ward knows the ins and outs of this (relatively) new way of getting a comic project off the ground, and that you have to follow through on a good looking pitch to get backing with a great end product.
Treves: A Restless Night isn’t just a great end product. It’s a really great end product – and you should head over to the official Merrick web site and buy it right now.
Talented pairing Tom Ward and artist Luke Parker already have four issues of Merrick under their belts – a glorious tale of Victorian devilry, conspiracy and a tormented central character you really should read before you read A Restless Night, and there’s a terrific collection available that will leave you champing at the bit for the next episode.
A Restless Night is a one shot: a beautifully- realised, creepy, pulp-inspired Lovecraftian horror story, that is both a treat in terms of both story and art. Set before he met The Elephantman, before he came to be one of the most talented surgeons at the London Hospital, a young Frederick Treves travelled throughout India with a fellow doctor.
One night as they set camp in a barren wasteland Treves’ travelling companion recounts the tale of a previous encounter with a local who put his faith in a witchdoctor over modern medicine. That story in itself is gruesome enough, but what unfolds when Treves beds down for the night is positively spine-chilling.
Set in the same world as Mertick, Tom reckons you can enjoy A Restless Night can as a standalone tale, but I personally think you should read both. (Merrick first).
I’m loathe to say too much about the story of Restless Night, as that might spoil it given the form, but suffice to say that for this backer it was a joy to read, alongside the Merrick collection.
Treves: A Restless Night is a terrific tale, superbly paced throughout. Stunning imagery from Luke (whose credits include work for IDW and Image Comics) mesh seamlessly with the script. A real gem.
Surely to goodness 2000AD, Titan Comics or Dark Horse must have noticed how good this team, and I include letterer Nic J Shaw and editor Clare Lenton in this well-deserved praise, are by now? Hire them as a unit.
This comic? Go. Buy.
• You can download #1 of Merrick free here – try before you buy – if you don’t just want to take my word for how good these books are!
The first print run of 500 issues of A Restless Night comes with a limited edition numbered bookplate designed by series artist Luke Parker and signed by him and writer Tom Ward
You’ll also be sent digital version of the volume in .pdf and .cbr formats so you can enjoy issues of Merrick on the move on your tablet, smartphone or PC.
• Tom Ward is on Twitter @highbrowtrash
• Luke Parker is on DeviantArt at http://future-parker.deviantart.com